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Sexual Abuse Center

While reliable statistics are not available, what data there is indicates that sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures in sports is widespread, especially among elite athletes. A Canadian study of elite and recently retired Olympic athletes reported that more than one in five had had sexual intercourse with persons in positions of authority (coaches, administrators etc.) in sport. Of this total 8.6 percent reported being raped. Almost one in ten of those who reported abuse were under 16 years old at the time of the sexual assault.

While reducing the risk of sexual abuse in sports - because it is so often never reported or discussed - is a difficult task made more challenging by the refusal of so many in the youth sports community to even acknowledge its existence, sexual abuse of youth athletes - boys as well as girls - can be prevented through a combination of education (knowing the warning signs of sexual abuse) and action (background checks, two-adult rule etc.).


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